Forget Camp Crystal Lake. The first stop of Summerland Tour 2014 at Pompano Beach Amphitheater was the place to be on Friday the 13th. Created by Everclear frontman Art Alexakis in 2012, this popular concert event features bands who helped define the sounds of alternative rock in the 90s. This year’s stellar lineup included Spacehog, Eve 6, Soul Asylum and headlining superstars Everclear. The groups played to a packed house of fans who braved the rain to enjoy a nostalgic night of live music.
Resident New York aliens Spacehog kicked off Summerland Tour with an energetic performance that set the tone for a fun night of rocking in south Florida under a full moon. Lead singer/bassist Royston Langdon possesses a distinctly cool voice and he’s right at home on stage with a bass in his hands. With Jonny Cragg on drums and Timo Ellis and Richard Steel slinging the six strings, this band proved that these guys still have plenty of staying power.
Hailing from southern California, Eve 6’s star rose quickly. These guys had a record deal, a multi-platinum album and a steady stream of appearances on all the major late night talk shows — not bad for a band of teenagers. Then that shining star became dim and the band broke up in 2004. Fortunately for the fans, especially the screaming women in this crowd, the band reunited. Now rejuvenated and revived, they’re belting out those same anthemic songs that made them a mainstay over the airwaves and on MTV.
Singer/songwriter David Pirner has definitely penned some of the best songs to come out of the great alternative music scene of the 1990s. Soul Asylum enjoyed massive success with the release of Grave Dancers Union, a triple-platinum album that spawned the Grammy-Award winning single “Runaway Train.” The Minneapolis, Minnesota band continued to ride the wave of popularity all the way to a performance during Bill Clinton’s presidential inauguration. Their set during the Summerland Tour was an energetic blast from the past that had fans singing along.
Everclear began their headlining set at Summerland Tour 2014 with a truly memorable performance of “Santa Monica” that included an accordion, and all members of the band huddled together at the front of the stage. Lead singer/guitarist Art Alexakis wasted no time firing up the crowd with some running around and a few small jumps (not bad for a guy who recently had foot surgery). He also unleashed some good old-fashion rock -n- roll aggression on his guitar, breaking a string and ripping it off with gritty authority early on in the set. The other band members, which included Davey French, Freddy Herrara, Josh Crowley and Sean Winchester, were also at the top of their musical game. So much for the afterglow. Everclear stole the spotlight and showed the fans that there’s a lot more sparkle than fade in this band.
All of the groups played shorter sets with more of the hits. And that was by design: give the fans what they want to hear — but leave them wanting more. Indeed! Everyone will no doubt be looking forward to other Summerland Tour 2014 stops.